Region's choristers sing for the Queen

Queen Elizabeth II passes St Paul's Cathedral on the Spirit of Chartwell, during the Diamond Jubilee river pageant. Photo: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Three choristers from the Anglia region are part of the choir singing at the Thanksgiving Service for the Queen at St Paul's Cathedral on Bank Holiday Tuesday. They are Head Chorister at Ely Cathedral, Edward Birchinall (13), senior chorister at Jesus College, Cambridge Alasdair Austin and Jessica Smith (12) from the Southend Girls' Choir.

They're among only 40 children from across the UK to have been especially selected to form the Diamond Choir. A total of 18 auditions were held at Cathedrals throughout the country to find the most talented and enthusiastic young singers for the high profile event.

Jessica Smith is a pupil at Southend High School in Essex. Jessica, who went to St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, for her audition, said: "I am really excited to be able to sing for the Queen at St. Paul's Cathedral. It will be a great experience and an opportunity to sing with children from all over the country."

Jessica's mum Hiranthi Fernando added: "To be invited by Buckingham Palace to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in this way is a great honour and privilege for us both. Thanks to the Southend Girls' Choir, Jessica is able to sing a variety of music and perform in prestigious venues."

Edward Birchinall, who has just turned 13, said: "I am really excited about performing for The Queen at the Diamond Jubilee. I know that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am looking forward to being part of the country's celebrations."

Edward, who appeared alongside Rowan Atkinson in the West End production of Oliver, is a pupil at the King's School in Ely.